The Country Coordinators are Learning Enterprises' in-country leaders who make our programs possible. As respected leaders within their communities, they are responsible for all program organization on the ground in each of our 13 countries.
Mauritius - Emilie Rabot
Emilie's first experience with LE was helping a friend, then country coordinator. In 2015 she decided to be part of the program by hosting. It was something new to welcome a person that you don’t know at your place and live with you for one month completely. Jennifer Kozyra was her first volunteer, who was a stranger and now is a sister.
After that summer Emilie was so impressed with how LE changed the life of those kids, she decided to offer her help.She decided to take up the challenge of being country coordinator. With the help ofboth the Program Director and all the people in different village, LE Mauritius was a success once again in 2016.
In 2017, she is preparing to welcome all volunteers for the program.
CHINA - Vera Lai
Sitong Lai, also known as Vera, is the new program director of LE China 2017. She is a fresh graduate student in Nanjing University majoring in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature. She was born in Jinjiang which is located in China’s southeast coast. She loves reading poems, practicing calligraphy as well as traveling.
She's been to America, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany and Spain. She is currently learning French and just went to France last sum mer. I am really looking forward to this teaching program and I believe we would have a wonderful summer together.
Slovakia - SZILVIA BIRÓ
Serving as the Country Coordinator last year, Szilvia will be returning to LE for her third year. Having studied British and American Studies in University, Szilvia is excited to learn more and discuss US current events with volunteers. Her village will be host to a volunteer during the trip. Szilvia will assist the group during mid-point break. She will also lead the team in their trip to a student festival of which she works directly with.
Szilvia is very excited to be the serve as the Country Coordinator again and looks forward to meeting the 2017 volunteer team.
Poland - Ilona Jurkiewicz
Ilona Jurkiewicz started her journey with Learning Enterprises in 2005 as a freshman at New York University. She saw an advertisement promising an unforgettable summer with the opportunity to teach abroad in her native Europe.
Always looking for ways to get back to her homeland (having immigrated from Poland in 1993), Ilona eagerly signed up and was accepted to the Pilot Program for Poland for 3 weeks and another 3 weeks in Slovakia. After an exhilarating summer filled with new faces and experiences, Ilona eagerly looked for her next opportunity serve. She ended up recruiting several of her friends to join in the fun the following year and became program director for Poland in its first ever stand alone year. After a life changing summer with incredible new experiences and friendships formed, she took a break from LE for a while. Now, she is finally back in action! After spending a few years in the corporate world, Ilona came back to the meaningful world of service to others and deciding to re-join Learning Enterprises again to spread the LE mission further. She served as the program director for Poland in 2013 and 2014. She is honored to be a member of the Board of Directors for Learning Enterprises, which realized her mission of being able to fundamentally help shape and improve an organization that contributed so significantly to her own development.
In her spare time, Ilona likes to travel, smoke hookah, play the ukelele, read any and every magazine she can find (she subscribes to over 10 every month!), absorb herself in great literature, bake, drink amazing coffee, find interesting spots in New York City, and find new ways of entertaining herself! She also works for Thomson Reuters focusing on Organizational Effectiveness and HR strategy for businesses in the emerging markets.
Romania - Kinga Popa
Kinga was born in Oradea, Romania. She studied at the Partium Christian University in order to become a social worker. She graduated in 2007. Later she moved to Budapest, Hungary, and she is working in a dubbing studio as an assistant director and translator.
In 2004, Kinga started to work as a volunteer for International Children’s Safety Service in Oradea, and that’s where she first heard about Learning Enterprises and met the first LE volunteers in Romania. Next year she became the Country Coordinator in Romania.
She knew when she took the position that the job would be a real challenge, but she didn’t realize it would be such an amazing and pleasant experience.
Thailand - Pakapol Laosri
Pakapol Laosri is currently the Founder and English Mentor at The Center, an educational development center in Thailand. He has been involved with LE Thailand since its inception and has been Program Director for the program for 5 terms.
He graduated from the Florida State University with a double major in Political Science and Economics and also has a TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) Certificate.
His interests include entrepreneurship, music, fitness, archery, minimalism, altruism, and personal development. He believes in creating high quality content to better the lives of others.
Hungary - Zsófia Selmeczi
Serving for her 4th year as the LE Country Coordinator for LE, Zsófia works all year leading up to the trip to find host families and villages for our volunteers. Though not an easy task, as a project manager of the Association for the Villages of Zala County, Zsófia is well versed in her home region.
Zsófia lives and works in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary and will be a great contact point for the volunteers. She is very passionate about bringing this learning opportunity to the region, and will assure that all volunteers are placed with the most welcoming and hospitable host families.
Panama - Lorena Valencia
Lorena is currently serving as an attaché on the U.N. Security Council for Panama, as a specialist in Western Africa politics. She recently completed a master's degree on International Education Development and Policy Studies at Columbia University and finished her undergraduate work at Georgetown University. Lorena founded the Panama program when she was a sophomore at Georgetown University in 2004. As country coordinator, she helps set up everything in Panama, from the homes the volunteers stay in to the activities during orientation. Lorena hopes to go back to her country and continue helping in many other ways!
Crete - NIKI NIOLAKI
Niki was born in Australia and now lives in Nio-Horio, Crete. She works for the Apokornas government as City Councilor, specifically helping with Social Services. Niki believes this program will offer great opportunities to the people of Crete, helping them become positive citizens of the world and creating lasting friendships.
Niki has played a crucial role as the founding CC for LE Crete, helping to connect the program with local schools, students, and host families. She has used her professional and local ties to prepare the Apokornas community for the volunteers’ arrival. During the program, she will directly assist the PD in ensuring that everything runs smoothly, and will be present at meetings so that she can meet the volunteers.
Mongolia - Enkhmunkh “Enky" Zurgaanjin
Enky was the Country Coordinator for the LE Mongolia program in 2012. He studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and completed his master's in education at Stanford University's School of Education. Enkhmunkh is a member of the Global Shapers Community by the World Economic Forum. He is excited to continue to help the LE Mongolia program grow!placed with the most welcoming and hospitable host families.
The Country Coordinator will co-conduct orientation and wills serve as a partner to all the volunteers. Enky will always be available by phone and Internet.
Croatia - Helena Hecimovic
Helena has been Country Coordinator for 13 years! Years ago, when she first heard about Learning Enterprises, Helena had only started HELLO English Language Club in her home town Koprivnica, after working as an English teacher at high school for 13 years. She wanted childern to learn English in a different way, far from tests and "one-fits-all" school curricula. She wanted them to enjoy learning, speaking, singingand dreaming English - she wanted them to make it their second language, the language of their choice. The language they would not only actively use in future, but also like playing with in their childhood and teenage years.
Today Helena is retired, but still actively involved in the Club. Her numerous family takes active part in the activities of the HELLO Club and Sunny Village camp. She hopes this connection will last for years to come and warmly welcomes our future volunteers. Those before them have enriched her life in so many different ways and she only wishes to continue this long-lasting mutually beneficial relationship.